China signs UN arms trade treaty

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 07 2020 07:18 AM

UNITED NATIONS, United States - China signed a global pact Tuesday to regulate arms sales that has been rejected by the United States, the Asian power's UN ambassador said.

The Communist Party leadership's top legislative body voted in late June to join the UN Arms Trade Treaty, designed to control the flow of weapons into conflict zones. 

The signing demonstrates China's "resolve and sincerity in maintaining international arms control regime, supporting multilateralism, and forging a community with a shared future for mankind," Zhang Jun, China's ambassador to the UN, said in a statement.

The statement added that Beijing allows arms exports only to sovereign states and not to non-state actors.

China, the second-largest global arms producer, announced June 22 it would join the Arms Trade Treaty, which now has 107 member states.

Adopted by the UN in 2013, the treaty requires members to keep records of international transfers of weapons and to prohibit cross-border shipments that could be used in human rights violations.

The arms included range from handguns to missiles to airplanes and warships.

The US Senate never ratified the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty after former president Barack Obama endorsed it, and Trump has said he would revoke his predecessor's signature.

It is among a number of international agreements reached under the Obama administration that Trump has moved to pull out of.

© Agence France-Presse